On the occasion of the international women’s day 2020, the Cameroon Academy of Young Scientists (CAYS) organised a panel discussion on “Women and Science: What Future for Cameroon?”

CAYS has as one of its mandates to promote research as a career option for the younger generation, and girls in particular. It therefore uses various avenues to showcase the importance of research. The opportunity this time was the International Women’s Day 2020, which aimed at celebrating and showcasing the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. Celebrating this day stands as a reminder for nations to eliminate discrimination against women, accelerate gender parity and advance women’s full and equal participation in global development. CAYS as an advocate for equal treatment of women and the full and inclusive participation in the development of Cameroon, has outlined activities towards addressing issues faced by women.

In line with this, on 4 March 2020, CAYS organized the panel discussion, in cooperation with the Ministry of Scientific Research and Innovation in Cameroon. The topics discussed ranged from the reasons for women to choose a scientific or research career, to statistics illustrating the number of women in the scientific/research career internationally and in Cameroon in particular. Further contributions outlined the difficulties faced by women in science, and proposed strategies to promote women in science.

The following recommendations were made: • Breaking stereotypes and allowing women to follow their dreams • Recognizing the value and potential of women in science • Setting up a repertoire or database of women scientists and their works for visibility and use by the general public • Applying laws that empower and valorize women • Creating a special award or prize of excellence dedicated to women scholars • Celebrating female scientist as models and mentors • Empowering women scientists through promotion to positions of leadership